Seed security in the wake of the Corona crisis: The role of emergency aid and development cooperation

FNI Policy Brief 1/2020. Lysaker, Fridtjof Nansen Institute,  May 2020, 4 p.

The COVID-19 pandemic constitutes a serious threat to humanity – not only because of the escalating death tolls expected particularly in developing countries, but also due to the implications of the restrictions imposed for fighting the spread of the virus. As a result, the number of people suffering from hunger globally may double, according to the FAO. An important factor in this context is reduced access to seed and other input factors in agriculture for years to come. This policy brief looks into the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and its restrictions on seed security, as seed security is key to food security. It explains what seed security is about and highlights the importance of genetic diversity and locally adapted and adaptable crop varieties to strengthen the resilience of agricultural systems to climate change.

Due to the disruptions following from the COVID-19 pandemic, farmers may have to become increasingly self-sufficient in seed, using more farm-saved seed, locally produced certified or quality declared seed, and local ex-change. Promoting seed security in the wake of the Corona crisis will require strengthening local seed systems, the policy brief argues. Finally, it highlights implications for seed emergency aid and developing cooperation and presents some of the most important tools to guide decision making and planning in this regard, as well as examples which may provide models for future development cooperation.




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